Senator Christopher “Bong” Go commended President Rodrigo Duterte for heeding the call of many Filipinos for additional financial aid amid the scheduled re-imposition of enhanced community quarantine restrictions in the National Capital Region starting this August 6 until August 20.
Earlier, Go urged the executive department to ensure that assistance will be given to the poorest of the poor that will be most affected when ECQ is reimposed.
“Sila naman ang apektado dito, ang mga ‘isang kahig, isang tuka’, talagang walang matakbuhan. Ito ang mga umaasa pong lumabas at magtrabaho araw-araw, sila po ang pinakaapektado dito,” he added.
In response, President Duterte approved the recommendation of the Department of Budget and Management, together with the National Economic Development Authority and other concerned agencies, for the allocation of 10.894 billion pesos to cover 10.894 million individuals in NCR which comprise 80% of its population.
Go then urged concerned authorities to quickly put the necessary mechanisms in place in order to prevent any administrative delays in distributing the financial aid to qualified individuals and households.
“Dahil direktang ida-download ang mga pondo sa mga LGUs sa NCR, ang apela ko naman sa mga lokal na pamunuan ay siguraduhing maibibigay kaagad ang ayuda sa mga tamang benepisyaryo sa isang maayos, mabilis at ligtas na paraan na walang katiwalian,” he emphasized.
Last March, the Senator had successfully appealed to government to provide assistance to the low-income residents affected by the imposition of ECQ in the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal.
The national government is also providing assistance to the residents of Iloilo province, Iloilo City, Cagayan de Oro City and Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental who have been likewise affected by ECQ restrictions that were recently extended to August 7.
As the Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, he earlier acknowledged the need for stricter restrictions to curb the spread of new infections. Go, however, stressed that addressing the issues of hunger and poverty is a vital part of any successful mitigation strategy.
Go added that preventing the spread of new variants of COVID-19 is necessary to protect the gains made with the vaccine rollout.
As of this writing, the government has administered 20.9 million doses, with more than 11.7 million Filipinos given their first dose and 9.1 million already fully vaccinated.
Aside from the reimposition of ECQ and border controls, Go is also appealing for the reinforcement of contact tracing and genome sequencing, the augmentation of healthcare facilities and hastening of the country’s vaccine rollout.
“Pakiusap po, sumunod po tayo sa mga patakaran at magpabakuna na bago maging huli ang lahat. Ang inyong disiplina at kooperasyon ay makakapagligtas ng buhay ng kapwa nating Pilipino. Konting sakripisyo ito katumbas ang mga buhay na mapoproteksyunan natin,” he added.
Go assured that the government is prepared to overcome these challenges as long as Filipinos cooperate and remain united towards the collective goal of protecting lives. SOVEREIGNPH/AQP